Some doctors are openly discussing refusal to treat patients who decline, for whatever reason, to get the jab. This would set a dangerous precedent and shatter fundamental tenets of medical practice.
An insidious sentiment has begun metastasizing throughout the United States and Britain, expressed by politicians, pundits, and – most disturbingly – by physicians themselves: that the unvaccinated who contract Covid-19 should be denied medical care.
It gets worse. A former US senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill, also wants the unvaccinated to have their insurance rates raised. Piers Morgan, the British TV personality, demands to his nearly 8 million Twitter followers that the NHS must refuse them hospital beds. An emergency medical physician in Arizona responds to a video clip of people unmasked in a grocery store with a message, “Let ‘em die”. A liver surgeon at Massachusetts General suggests that declining a Covid vaccine should be treated by doctors as a functional Do Not Intubate/Do Not Resuscitate order.
These are neither private thoughts nor quiet conversations with overworked colleagues: these are calls to action, shared on social media, intended for public consumption.
This should terrify you.
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R. M. Huffman is a physician, author, and observer of culture.